Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris (True Blood 10)

True Blood (HBO) is one if my favorite TV series and it is on that route I came to read Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampires series about the telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse. Here is my view of book number ten.

Title: Dead in the Family
Series: Southern Vampire Mysteries 10 | Sookie Stackhouse | True Blood
Author: Charlaine Harris
Jacket illustration: Lisa Desimini
Genre:  Supernatural fantasy
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: ACE of Berkley Publishing Group a division of Penguin Group 2010 | Gollancz of Orion
Order from: ACE | Gollancz | Amazon US | UK | B&N | sfbok

After enduring torture and the loss of loved ones during the brief but deadly Faery War, Sookie Stackhouse is hurt and she’s angry. Just about the only bright spot in her life is the love she thinks she feels for vampire Eric Northman. But he’s under scrutiny by the new Vampire King because of their relationship. And as the political implications of the Shifters coming out are beginning to be felt, Sookie’s connection to the Shreveport pack draws her into the debate. Worst of all, though the door to Faery has been closed, there are still some Fae on the human side-and one of them is angry at Sookie. Very, very angry…

Information

The book is dedicated to their son Patrick.

The jacket art depicts a blond woman in a green dress hovering opposite a hovering blond man wearing a black mantle with two thorny roses intertwined in the background. Those Roses have some glitter in it. The man in me feels that glitter is a bit too much.

Anyway, the protagonist and point of view is as usual Sookie Stackhouse, waitress extraordinary, not that she has much time to waitress.

The Author

I have only read Charlaine Harris’ Sookie series so far but I am starting to glance at her other works and a sample here and there is on my to-read list. Charlaine lives in a small town in Southern Arkansas with her family.

World building

As usual in all Sookie Stackhouse books the world building sneaks up on you without being noticed until you realize that you are not in Kansas anymore. I especially enjoy the Were’s ways and Eric and his maker and their backstory.

Plot

Sookie is trying to patch her life together after being tortured to inches of her life in the Fairy War. Bill saved her life but suffer greatly from silver poisoning. She feels bad for that and wants to help him, but their relation is a bit awkward now when she is ‘married’ to Eric Northman.

The shifters stepped out of the closet in the last book and now the government wants them all to register like the Vampires have to, but the Shifters don’t want to. Emotions gets high on both sides and some will do almost anything to get their will done.

Vampire politics are worse than ever, Eric is the local sheriff but after Cartina he has a new boss assigned by the king, and the boss is making trouble for him and Sookie. If that was not enough Eric’s maker shows up …

Sookie also has her family to deal with; Jason seems to have found a girlfriend that can keep him straight this time but then fairy cousin Claude moves in because he feels lonely; which in itself creeps Sookie out a bit.

Then they find a body buried on Sookie’s land …

Characterization

I liked the characterization in this book better than in the last. Sookie comes alive and feel much more ‘realistic’ in this book. The last few have felt a little bit like the same old but here Charlaine has succeeded in rekindling the feelings I felt when I read the first Sookie novels. Sookie is also a great deal darker which makes sense if you have been tortured and almost killed.

Eric is such a great character and he gets to play on his more emotional side here.

My View

I got the feeling back, Dead in the Family is one of the best Sookie Stackhouse novels so far. Maybe there isn’t as much fighting in this one but there is stuff happening all the time. If you like True Blood you should really give this series a go. The TV series deviate from the books at some points but that is not anything Charlaine Harris and her fans think matter so much. It’s a bit sad Elvis isn’t in the TV series but it’s no big issue for me. Now I can’t wait on the next book. At least I have season 3 of True Blood to keep me entertained, it premieres now on Sunday June 13.